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Michael Irvin Jersey Limited
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<!-- body { font:12px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; background-color: #EEF2FB; margin: 0px; } --> The Dallas Cowboys offensive line should be better this season thanks to the return of All-Pro center Travis Frederick and rookie Connor McGovern. But could an undrafted free agent push a couple reliable veterans off the roster?" />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteBlogging The BoysBlogging The Boys Michael Irvin Jersey Limited , a Dallas Cowboys fan communityLog In or Sign UpLog InSign UpFanpostsFanshotsSectionsLibraryCowboysOddsShopAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 322 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Dallas Cowboys NewsFiled underBig Grinallas Cowboys GeneralCould an undrafted rookie take the roster spot of the Cowboys offensive snap leader from a year ago?New,111commentsThe Cowboys offensive line has improved so much that a couple of starters from a year ago could be on the bubble.CDTShareTweetShareShareCould an undrafted rookie take the roster spot of the Cowboys offensive snap leader from a year ago?Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsThere was a time when the Dallas Cowboys had the best offensive line in football. You should be able to remember it because you don’t have to go back that far when it existed. With three All-Pro’s paving the way, the 2014 and 2016 offense finished in the top five in points scored, had the the league’s leading rusher, and was a big reason the Cowboys took down the NFC East.Over the last two seasons, the offense has sputtered a bit and part of the reason is from deficiencies along the offensive line. In 2017, the team didn’t get the same strong play from Jonathan Cooper that they got from the departed Ron Leary. And when Tyron Smith missed three games, it sent the offense spiraling as backups Chaz Green and Byron Bell failed miserably. Last season, they were better prepared to handle Smith’s absence thanks to free agent acquisition Cameron Fleming, but the team still suffered a lot of adversity in the middle. Rookie Conner Williams had his share of struggles, hurt his knee, and then eventually lost his job to Xavier Su’a-Filo. Travis Frederick was lost for the year after being diagnosed with Guillian-Barré syndrome. Even Zack Martin missed a couple games for the first time in his NFL career. Thanks to having viable backups on the roster, the offensive line didn’t fall apart as they had the league’s leading rusher and won the division. Despite a valiant effort from a motley crew of backups Randy White Jersey , they still weren’t the dominant, trench-moving bunch. This was most apparent in the red zone where Ezekiel Elliott only averaged 2.43 yards per carry and was tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage 17% of the time. They were good, but not great.One of the reasons the Cowboys offensive line survived was the surprise performance of backup center Joe Looney. The team signed him to a two-year deal in 2016, but used him sparingly. They liked what he added to the depth of the position group so they re-upped him again last season to another two-year deal. Boy, did that turn out to be a great move. Looney started all 16 games in Frederick’s absence and played in a total of 1,076 snaps last year - the most by any Cowboys player on offense.Looney’s services came in handy, but things are quite different now. First off, Frederick is expected to be back. And this year’s third-round draft pick, Connor McGovern, should bolster the depth of the line as well. The starting unit could now look as follows:I have McGovern listed as the starting left guard, but that’s just my own gut instinct talking. Maybe you have Connor Williams holding that spot. That’s fine. There will be a nice position battle between them to determine the best man for the job, but suffice to say - one of the Connor’s should come away with the job, while the other one is relegated to the backup role. This pushes Looney even further down the depth chart.This is a strong group Cheap Rico Gathers Jersey , but the Cowboys might not be able to keep 10 offensive linemen. With the team having a lot of wide receivers fighting for roster spots, plus the increase in bodies in the secondary - roster spots are going to be hard to come by. There’s a good chance at least one of these depth guys don’t make the roster. But who?Fleming’s obviously not going anywhere. He’s a cheap cap hit this year and gives the team added insurance at the swing tackle position. Whichever Connor doesn’t earn the starting left guard stop will most likely be next in line should an injury fall to the interior line. That leaves Looney, Su’a-Filo, and undrafted free agent Mitch Hyatt.Even though Hyatt is one of the Cowboys priority free agent signings, his chances to make the team might be better than some think. Hyatt was the top tackle recruit coming out of high school and started all four of his years on a very good Clemson team. In that span, the Tigers went to three national championship games, winning two of them. Whether it was in practice or in tough game situations, Hyatt has blocked the best of them. This two-time All American was a key part of the success of a very good football team. It’s mind-boggling that Hyatt went undrafted. Sure, he has weaknesses. He doesn’t posses a lot of power and tends to lunge at the defender quite a bit. But he’s very smart and fundamentally sound. He moves well and just knows how to do what it takes to win in the trenches. The consistent success he had against the highest level of competition paints a pretty flattering picture of what Hyatt can bring to the offensive line group.This battle should be a good one to watch in training camp, but Hyatt could have the inside track over guys like Looney or Su’a-Filo. Both the veterans only have one year left on their deal, whereas Hyatt can be had for real cheap over the next four years. Not only that, but Hyatt has experience at tackle. While Connor Williams might be the eventual successor at right tackle if the team isn’t able to retain La’el Collins, Hyatt could make a nice swing tackle. With the skill set Hyatt possesses Robert Newhouse Jersey Limited , it’s hard not seeing him find a job at the NFL level, even if it’s just as a backup.It’s way early, but if I had to make a guess - I’d say Looney sticks around, but give the undrafted rookie the edge for the last spot over Su’a-Filo. Of course, with a group so deep in talent, the offensive leader in snaps from a year ago isn’t safe by any means. Whatever happens, this speaks to how well the front office has done to solidify the depth along the offensive line. As a vital part of the offense, it’s important this group doesn’t miss a beat should injuries strike. The addition of a couple new rookies could help do exactly that. The only outside addition that Jason Garrett is adding to next season’s Cowboys staff is former quarterback Jon Kitna, who now seems to be taking the role of quarterback’s coach. Until last week, Kitna was set to be the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Fleet, in an upstart pro league founded by Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol. After retiring from the NFL in 2012, Kitna immediately began as the head coach of his alma mater Lincoln High School. In three seasons, Kitna led his team to a 24-8 record with two 3A championships. He resigned in 2015 to take a job at Waxahachie High before leaving there to coach one year at a college preparatory. Now L. P. Ladouceur Jersey Limited , he returns to the last stop of his long NFL playing career in a different role.The Cowboys hope that Kitna’s experience with young quarterbacks can help Dak Prescott continue to improve in the coming year. Kitna understudied first in Seattle, under the great Warren Moon. By 2004, Kitna had moved into the mentor role for a young Carson Palmer, who was the first pick for the Bengals. Though Kitna had stints as the starter in both Seattle, Cincinnati, as well as Detroit, he helped in the role of preparing young passers throughout his 17-year career.Jason Garrett has always had a soft spot for Jon Kitna and his “gamer-style leadership” that made him one of the few bright spots in the lost season of 2010. With Tony Romo’s season over after a clavicle injury, Kitna quarterbacked Garrett’s offense and the Cowboys finished 5-3 after a 1-7 start under Wade Phillips. Kitna had many memorable moments including engineering the first win of the Garrett-era in the new MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands. He would serve as Romo’s backup until 2012 but was brought in briefly at the end of the 2013 season, too. By all accounts, Jon Kitna helped Garrett secure the Cowboys job full time and it’s not a stretch to suggest that Garrett saw a lot of himself in Kitna. A guy who was never going to be confused for a franchise-level starter but someone who was sharp, intelligent, always had himself ready and one who could rise to the challenge. Garrett was often praised in his playing days by Troy Aikman as being the perfect backup. Aikman recalled Garrett as the equivalent of another coach. When Garrett had to play, he was ready and his 1994 Thanksgiving Day game is one of the Cowboys’ fondest franchise memories. In Kitna’s playing days Larry Allen Jersey , Romo would praise him as a guy who helped him by giving a second opinion from the sidelines. It’s commonplace in the NFL for backup quarterbacks to find success in coaching. The Cowboys have four former quarterbacks as assistant coaches for the the upcoming season in Garrett, Kellen Moore, Doug Nussmeier, and now Jon Kitna. Some may be critical that it’s too many cooks in the kitchen but Kitna is the position coach that Dak Prescott needs.Dak has been a huge advocate for Kellen Moore and credits him as being instrumental in his success. If we’re to trust Dak’s opinion then Moore also played a role in the young quarterback’s resurgence this season. Moore isn’t going anywhere and is looking at a big promotion if rumors prove true, but Kitna will be just as vital to Dak’s future success. A big reason for that is because we’re hearing all sorts of conflicting reports about who will be calling the plays. At the very least, we know that Jason Garrett will have a heavy influence on the offense, which is why Jon Kitna makes sense. The last time Garrett was the play-caller was when Jon Kitna was still backing up Romo. This offense is sure to look different in 2019 than the one Garrett was calling with Tony Romo. Having someone there that knows the subtle differences in Garrett’s style is helpful. Kellen Moore may want a focus on RPO concepts, Kitna may want Dak to take more shots in the middle of the field, who knows what differences there will be. The Cowboys seem set to having the gameplan be a collective meshing of ideas that are best for their personnel. That’s one focus that had certainly been lacking in Scott Linehan’s reign as the play-caller. Despite everyone’s feelings about Kellen Moore, take comfort in the fact that Jon Kitna has a more extensive NFL r茅sum茅. Not only that but he also has the experience with Garrett’s offense. Moore’s only experience comes under Scott Linehan’s interpretation of this offensive scheme. Having Jon Kitna in the fold is not only good for Jason Garrett because of familiarity but it’s going to be good for Dak Prescott. Some position coaches are great sounding boards, some are great teachers, the Cowboys are hoping that Jon Kitna is going to be the best of both worlds.
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